Report: Tomlin, Jim Harbaugh possible candidates at Texas

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When it comes to his negotiations with the University of Texas, Alabama coach Nick Saban has plenty of leverage.  Texas now may have some, too.

According to Chip Brown of (via CBS Sports), Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh are potential candidates for the Longhorns vacancy.

It sounds ridiculous on the surface.  Why would coaches of two of the most prominent NFL franchises consider any college job?

For starters, the money may be a lot better than what Tomlin and Jim Harbaugh currently are making or eventually will be making in their NFL jobs in Pennsylvania and California, respectively, especially when considering that the head coach of the Texas Longhorns pays no state income tax.

Then there’s the thing that drew Saban back to college after a two-year stint with the Dolphins:  Control.

True control.  No salary cap, no draft, no aggressive media.  No General Manager or others in the front office who’ll plant stories or whisper in the ear of the owner about how the coach should be blamed for struggles.

And no owner.  While there’s an Athletics Director and a school president and a board, the coach becomes the highest paid, highest profile, and in turn highest powered figure in a college town with a major college football program.

There’s currently no reason to think Tomlin or Jim Harbaugh would be interested in leaving for Texas or any other team.  But they both could be interested in extending and/or improving their current deals.  (Tomlin is signed through 2016, and Jim Harbaugh is under contract through 2015.)

Besides, NFL head-coaching contracts don’t seem to be as meaningless as college contracts.  Saban got out easily from his deal in Miami because he specifically negotiated the ability to leave for a college job.

Saban got that term because he had leverage.  Saban currently has it again.  Turning the gaze to other candidates gives Texas a little of it back.  And it in turn gives Tomlin and Jim Harbaugh a little leverage of their own.

Especially if/when either or both declare, “I’m not going to be the Texas coach.”

97 responses to “Report: Tomlin, Jim Harbaugh possible candidates at Texas

  1. Jim Harbaugh recently lost to his twin brother in the Superbowl.

    He’s not going anywhere as his mind is on beating his brother in another superbowl. I wouldn’t be surprised if he bought madden just to beat the Ravens right after the superbowl loss. My point is, he ain’t leaving.

  2. I think Harbaugh is in way over his head in the NFL arena. San Fran would be best served by moving on and going in a different direction from a HC standpoint, and I think Harbaugh makes a much better college coach anyhow. It’s good for him and for the 49ers, and would be a nice pickup for a school like Texas in which he would surely command serious recruiting improvements.

    And Tomlin, well I have don’t have much to say there, I could really not care less about what’s going on with him. As long as he doesn’t come to the Lions or the Wolverines then I’m cool with it.

    And I don’t care for Harbaugh, but I would rather see him as the HC than Brady Hoke. I’ll take my chances and the recruiting advantages, anything but Brady Hoke please. He’s the worst HC this university has ever had.

  3. It would be ironic for Tomlin to leave after his sideline debacle. I mean, isn’t it usually the college coach bolting for the NFL right before the hammer/sanctions comes down on his team? The name Pete Carroll comes specifically to mind. And no, I’m NOT singling out the Seahawks.

  4. Tomlin I could almost understand, given that he’s got a pair of rings and is coming off a down year. I’d still be very surprised if he left Pittsburgh; despite the Todd Haley mess, I think he’s the coach there for as long as he wants to be.

    Harbaugh would make no sense at all. The man has one of the best young rosters in the NFL, and is poised to have his team be a Super Bowl contender for years to come. He’s got one of the 32 most-coveted coaching jobs out there, and he’s at a point in his career where I’d be shocked to see him give it up and go back to college.

  5. Tomlin could possibly be hitting the job market soon, but I’d be pretty shocked to see Harbaugh just up and leave one of the best situations in the NFL

  6. I imagine babysitting twice as many football players (which are younger and have to go to class and make grades), not to mention year-round recruiting, are also pains. Can’t imagine either of those guys moving from their present gigs.

  7. I love the Chip Kelly hire as an Eagles fan, but my biggest fear is not that he’ll fail after all he doesn’t have the work ethic dingus Spurrier had. But the control aspect as stated in the article. I guess the silver lining is if Lurie totally buys into what hes doing, he’ll do his best to make sure Chip stays happy at this level.

  8. The stars are aligned. Harbaugh will leave for Texas, and realize he misses the NFL but loves the state of Texas, which is obviously a natural reaction. He will then come coach the Dallas Cowboys, and win them at least 5 rings.


  9. i feel like if Texas really wanted these guys they would have to pay upwards of 12-16 million/year. and if Texas offers that then and only then i would leave the NFL.

  10. There’s no way harbaugh leaves a good nfl team for a college team. It’s one thing to leave a crap nfl team and run back to college, but this won’t happen. Tomlin maybe.

  11. There’s a huge difference between Saban and coaches like Tomlin & Harbaugh..

    For one, Saban was 15-15 in his NFL stint.

    Harbaugh and Tomlin have both seen the Superbowl stage, and are more accomplished.

    I highly, highly doubt either of them go to Texas

  12. Tomlin have any recruiting affiliations/experience? Jumping from NFL to college is alot different from that perspective. Putting down the glitz and glamour of the big-time to go sit in living rooms in the Boondocks is much different. There are about 32 weeks outside of the season that coaches have to be prepared for ya know.

  13. Sounds like the Shorthorns are just making up names to leverage Saban.

    While college coaches don’t have to deal with salary cap issues or divas, they DO have do year round recruiting , class issues, all the weird NCAA violations, and dealing with 18 year old kids away from home for the first time.

  14. This is so ridiculous. Harbaugh, a Michigan alum/player, turned overtures from UM down prior to them hiring Hoke. He is in the NFL to stay… but IF he isn’t and has made that known, well, UM would dump Hoke in abut two seconds and pay Harbaugh whatever necessary in order to retain his services. Texas thinks they can get ANYONE they desire. They think they can dig up Bear Bryant or Woody Hayes, throw money at them and start winning titles again by ’14. Texas is a great job and they’re going to get a very good coach… but it’s comical that these guys believe, should they want Bill Belichick to be their next head coach, that he would walk to Austin to take the job.

  15. @emoney, 5 years ago the job wasn’t great, but I’m sure its much better under Jed than it was his clueless father, who was more worried about balancing his checkbook than running a successful NFL franchise.

  16. Harb turned down 7 mil from Mia to take 5 mil from SF cause he thought they were more likely to win Super Bowl. No way he leaves before he gets one. Now if he does win one and some school offers 10 mil he may go. The same could be said of
    Pete I believe.

  17. “I’m not interested in the Texas job”
    really means
    “I’m very interested in the Texas job.”

    “I’m not talking to Texas”
    really means
    “I just got off the phone with Texas.”

    “I will NEVER be the Texas coach”
    really means
    “There will be a press conference tomorrow at 1pm to announce I have accepted the job at Texas.”

  18. I don’t understand why Rex Ryan isn’t a candidate. Huge personality, bravado, and plays an aggressive blitzing defense. High School and College kids would love to play for him. And he’s probably going to be out of work anyway with the Jets. He coached under scrutiny in NY, I’m sure he could coach under pressure in Austin.

  19. Tomlin would be lucky to get such a primo college gig. Harbaugh wouldn’t go to Texas. Not now. But I can see him eventually going to Michigan and try to reclaim Bo Schembechlers style of smash mouth at his alma mater.

  20. If Tomlin thinks Steeler fans are irrationally demanding ….

    And Jim and John Harbaugh are not twins…

  21. Tomlin is a Steeler. He’s the head of Steeler Nation and a member of the Steeler family. He’s going nowhere but to another Super Bowl with the team. The only question is will it be next year or will it take 2.

  22. scmems07 says:
    Dec 11, 2013 1:13 PM

    Why don’t they call Pete Carr…….Oh yea…
    While he’s not going anywhere, it would be funny if Harbaugh did leave tho…

  23. Tomlin coaching Texas isn’t important right now. Steelers need to beat the Bengals this week! Ravens fans are rooting for you Steelers! Honest!

  24. I just got hired by Texas to be the new HC starting in 2014 with a guaranteed contract.

    Which in translation means I’m still watching my phone waiting for it to ring. Hello, I’m here! Oh wait that was my battery-low indicator, not an actual call.

  25. Longhrns? Longshot. Harbaugh isn’t going anywhere. He and the 49ers moving into a brand-new stadium next year, he’ll get an extension to probably 7.5 mil.( per) from Jed York to stay. Saben is the guy for that job.

  26. It’s a Rivals hot board before the coach is even officially gone. I’m a Minnesota fan and we had Tony Dungy, Chris Petersen, and Stanford Jim Harbaugh as our top guys a couple years back.

    They aren’t going anywhere to save a few % on income taxes. If you think they would have absolute personnel control, try putting the future of your roster on sucking up to 17 year old kids to play for you.

  27. tictoccpthook says:
    Dec 11, 2013 1:35 PM

    Tomlin is a Steeler. He’s the head of Steeler Nation and a member of the Steeler family. He’s going nowhere but to another Super Bowl with the team. The only question is will it be next year or will it take 2.===============the only he and the team are going to the super bowl is if they bought tickets.

  28. Say what you will about Nick Saban and I wouldn’t trust the guy as far as I could throw him, but when the dust settles he will be regarded as one of the, if not the greatest college football coach of all-time.

    It helps his cause that his record speaks to that and him not actually having to open his mouth.

  29. You and the rest of the Seahawks fan’s only wish for Harbaugh to leave. You know what, I just read somewhere that Pete Carrol wanted to go to Texas. 🙂

  30. It is sad that it has come to this, but it would make my football season if Harbaugh left the Niners. It’s sad, but hey, I root for a bad team. I need some sort of positive.

    There is zero chance of it happening, but oh what a day it would be in the Bay Area if it did.

  31. Harbaugh I’d have a tough time buying, he’s proven to be the spark in San Fran taking the nearly the same roster as Singletary and turned it into Super Bowl contender in his first season. Tomlin however is an overrated coach. He stepped into what Cowher built and it has slowly erroded away under his watch.

  32. You never know what Hairbaugh is going to do he ran from Stanford but lets hope Tomlin packs his bags.

  33. I’d still like to believe fullfilling the dream of winning championships on the grandest stage is more important than money to players and coaches.

  34. Harbaugh’s not stupid. He looks at the Seahawks and realizes he won’t get past them for at least 5 years. Better to take the bucks now and avoid the humiliation of losing to Pete Carroll twice a year in perpetuity.

  35. Would be absolutely shocked of Coach Harbaugh left. He has spent his entire career working towards a head coaching job in the NFL. I have a hard time seeing him leave for anywhere other than another NFL team, and even then, not until he has won a Super Bowl ring.

  36. I’m a Niners fan and I must admit Harbaugh’s losing his luster..we play terribly against the only games against good teams. He also seems far less intense and more subdued now that the Seahawks thrashed him and wrestled away the division..

  37. Use your head on this one. This is only somebody’s wish list. The only NFL coaches who have ever went to coach in college were failures, and yes that includes Pete Carroll because until he got to Seattle, he was a failure at the pro level as well.

  38. I could understand if harbaugh left, instead of admitting he was wrong for drafting kaep and trading the wrong qb he can just leave and pretend it never happened.

  39. hell, might as well put Bear Bryant and Tom Landry in their too. I mean it’s just as likely, right?

  40. tictoccpthook says:
    Dec 11, 2013 1:35 PM

    Tomlin is a Steeler. He’s the head of Steeler Nation and a member of the Steeler family. He’s going nowhere but to another Super Bowl with the team. The only question is will it be next year or will it take 2.

    Don’t teams have to qualify for post-season play in order to reach the Super Bowl?

  41. “If Texas is offering $10 million a year and a percentage of the Longhorn Network, thats a ton of money to say no to.”

    That’s crazy, it’d be like turning down 3 million dollars a year more to coach The Dolphins to coach somewhere else.

  42. Harbarf in Texas??? Nope, they don’t like whiners so that’s out…
    I like him in SF, he fits right in. Actually he’d be a great assistant coach in New England with the other whiny baby coach. Lol
    C’mon, I’m just messing around. I think most, not all, coaches are money driven and will go just about anywhere if the price is right.
    In my opinion, the only person that plays for the love of the game is Tim Duncan…. Takes a pay cut to keep his team, that he likes, together. Until the nfl has players, coaches and owners who play because they love the game, people will move around like gypsies.

  43. Tomlin should go and take all his players with him. I hear Cody Wallace is interested in getting certified as a physician’s assistant.

  44. Texas is just using them as leverage. They’d be stupid to take either of these two jokes over Saban.

  45. You Steeler fans bashing Tomlin are pea-brained idiots, and the same simpletons who helped run Arians out of town.

    You people don’t know jack about cause and effect, but you don’t even know how clueless you are.

    Keep Tomlin in the ‘Burgh!!!

    And if Tomlin ever did leave for the college ranks, BOOM!!! That giant sucking sound you’re hearing is the recruiting mega-vortex – of prep athletes destroying speed limits to be coached by Coach Tomlin.

  46. Don’t know who’ll be coaching in Austin next year, but I’ll be shocked it it’s Tomlin or anyone named Harbaugh.

  47. The Steelers could only be so lucky. They would benefit from Tomlin leaving and not look bad by having to fire him. I seriously doubt Texas has any interest in hiring him though.

  48. As an Auburn fan that has seen Saban win 4 of the last 6 Iron Bowls, and 3 national titles, if he needs help packing for Austin, I’ll be glad to help. But I don’t think it’s happening. I think he wants to become a bigger ‘Bama legend than Bear Bryant. And if he can win 3 or 4 more national titles there, he just might pull it off.

    If Texas is looking for a new coach, they’re going to have issues fillng the spot. Sure, it’s mega-money and total control, but it’s also people calling for your head every time you lose even one game. It takes a lot to enure all that.

  49. If Tomlin ever did leave for the college ranks, BOOM!!! That giant sucking sound you’re hearing is the recruiting mega-vortex – of prep athletes destroying speed limits and running red lights for the chance to be coached by Coach Tomlin.

  50. Tomlin can “unleash hell” on the recruiting trail for all I care. I think he would do well in the college ranks. Maybe they will consider him in Tuscaloosa if Saban jumps ship!

  51. Why do we think Mike Tomlin would be a good college coach? It’s a completely different job, one at which he has no experience.

    I guess Pete Carroll made that transition successfully, but it would certainly be unusual for an NFL coach with limited college experience to jump to a major college program and be successful.

  52. Texas has real problem because they are coming across as a real zoo while A & M, Baylor and Tech have young up and coming coaches with programs on the rise. Getting recruits to commit to the circus that is going on at Texas over A & M and Baylor is going to be hard unless Texas comes up with a great hire. No way that Tomlin leaves the Steelers. The Steelers have owners that know football and let their coaches work. Look how many coaches they have had in the last 30 years or so, 3.

  53. killerstiller says:

    Tomlin can “unleash hell” on the recruiting trail for all I care. I think he would do well in the college ranks. Maybe they will consider him in Tuscaloosa if Saban jumps ship!

    I’ve been a diehard Steelers fan for 35 years, but Bama’s in the blood. First, I don’t think Saban’s going anywhere. But if he did, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell Bama would consider Mike Tomlin given how the Steelers have performed the last three seasons and given that he has no recruiting experience. His input on player personnel decisions hasn’t exactly been awe-inspiring.

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